Author: Lish McBride
Synopsis: Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.
Huge thank you to Henry Holt BFYR and Netgalley for this ARC!
Two words: Magical Mafia. That is actually what sold me on requesting this book because there just isn’t enough Mafioso reads, let alone in the young adult world. That alone scored major points with me!
But seriously, Firebug is a fun read. Our heroine, Ava, is quirky, sassy, and quite the troll when she wants to be. She knows what she wants and what she expects of herself, but unfortunately she’s caught working for an organization that uses her as a magical tool. Ava is also supported by a great secondary cast, and the friendship between her, Lock and Ezra is especially well developed. Seriously, her friends behave like a band of merry men getting ready to tackle anyone and everyone out for their blood and you know what? They kick some serious ass.
This book does, admittedly suffer from some repetition and pacing problems. I admit there were points where Ava was doing a lot of detailed description and exposition that I wanted the story to get on with it. The pacing its varies throughout the whole text and it never entirely feels balanced at any given moment, which for me as a bit jarring. Still, what the book faltered in, it made up for in tons of crass and humour. McBride writes some fabulous characters and gives them great motives to become stronger, better, awesome(r) people. I can honestly say I liked every character in this book, which says a lot for how McBride develops her characters. I always felt like I had just enough information to know the characters, but never enough to feel like I was entirely prying into their lives.
More importantly this book is FUN. I felt such a range of emotions reading this book, but it always came back to humour. It wasn’t a perfect read, but I feel like McBride as a writer can win over even the prickest of reader with her snarky bunch of lonesome firebugs.